Thursday, September 29, 2011

Argument: Fast Food Is Not Cheaper

My students are working on illustration essays right now, and many of them have opted to use the suggested topic of "Home cooking always wins over fast food (or vice-versa)." Although these are illustration essays, many of them have elements of argument. When we discuss argument later in the semester, I might have my students read this article by Mark Bittman. Not only is it a topic that students are interested in, but it is a great example of using counterarguments.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Good Examples of Use of Examples

"For modern adventurers, the blissful disconnectedness from the rest of the world ... may be gone for good. It’s harder than ever to get truly out there."

In "Exploits, Now Not So Daring," author and adventurer David Roberts argues that technology is robbing us of the opportunity to be "out there"--"near the limits of what is humanly possible, out there where nobody can save you."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Good Advice for Writing Teachers

I like this advice from the Two Writing Teachers blog:
If you are looking to lift the level of your writing instruction, then I invite you to write. Start a notebook (or dust off an old one), play with words, try your hand at the current writing project your students are working on, just write. Then make a little list of the things you notice about your own writing process.
With all the grading I have to do, I don't know if I'd have time to write essays along with my students, but I've written enough of those essays (mostly for fun, though occasionally for publication) that I can share first-hand my knowledge that the writing process truly does become more fluid as you mature as a writer.

I do hope I can find some time to work on a few essays this semester, though. "Having to do it for a class"--even though it's the class I'm teaching--seems like a good enough excuse!